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Meet The Voice star John Legend's famous brother

The Ordinary People singer is a judge alongside Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan

John Legend with his brother Vaughn Anthony
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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Having been in the music industry for over two decades, working both behind the scenes with some of the biggest artists and as a leading star, John Legend has become a giant in the business.

So, it's only fitting that the R&B singer-songwriter and producer has a seat on the judging panel of The Voice, which recently returned for its 23rd season.

WATCH: John Legend and Chrissy Teigen's daughter Esti says "Dada"

The "Green Light" hitmaker sits alongside other legends of the game including country music icon Reba McEntire, global pop star Gwen Stefani and world-famous boyband album Niall Horan.

But away from John's work and his peers, it seems musicality runs in his family. Find out more about John's early life and family, including his famous brother, below…

Who is John Legend's famous brother?

John has three siblings, Ronald Stephens II, Vaughn Anthony and Phyllis 'Missy' Stephens. Not a huge amount is known about his brother Ronald and sister, Phyliss. Howver, Vaughn, like John, ventured into music and has become an artist in his own right.

In 2007, John signed his brother Vaughn to the label, HomeSchool, and since then, Vaughn has gone on to enjoy his own success. He's provided backing vocals for his brother and toured with John, and he's released his own albums. Some of his songs include, Swag All Day, Hold me Down, Curiosity and 3 AM.

Vaughn Anthony sings at the 'John Legend Presents Vaughn Anthony' Concert, 2009© Charles Sykes/Shutterstock
Vaughn Anthony sings at the 'John Legend Presents Vaughn Anthony' Concert, 2009

John Legend's early life

John Legend was born John Roger Stephens in Springfield Ohio and his the eldest of four children. John's parents were musical; his father, Ronald Stephens, who worked as a factory worker, was a drummer while his mother, Phyllis, a seamstress, was a singer and director at their church choir. Not to mention John's grandmother, who was a church organist.

John began playing piano at age four and by age seven was a singer in his family church's choir. Later on in life, the musician continued sharpening his artistic skills while studying English and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the president and director of the college's jazz and a cappella pop group.

John Legend attends the HBO Original documentary 'Stand Up and Shout: Songs from a Philly High School' world premiere during the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival in Philadelphia© Shutterstock
John Legend attends the HBO Original documentary 'Stand Up and Shout: Songs from a Philly High School' world premiere during the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival in Philadelphia

By age 19, John scored his first major commercial appearance when he played piano and provided vocals on the track Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill. The song appeared on the 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which went on to receive the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

john legend the voice© NBC
John Legend is back as a coach on 'The Voice'

What else is there to know about John Legend?

John Legend has opened up in the past about the struggles he and his family faced growing up, including his mother dealing with drug addiction. John also revealed he was mostly raised by his brothers. 

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John Legend's father, Ronald, with his grandchildren

In an essay for TIME, he wrote: "As a teenager growing up in Ohio, I watched my mother disappear into more than a decade of drugs and despair after my maternal grandmother — a person who filled our whole family with love — passed away. My mother's addiction didn't just tear her life apart; it tore me and the rest of our family apart, too."

John and his mother later reconciled. He told The Guardian: "It's an amazing story because she came back and now she is healthy and not addicted to drugs any more. She's a good grandmother and is in such a good place."

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